Pregnancy Intentions Among Salvadoran Fathers: Results from the 2003 National Male Reproductive Health Survey

Carter, Marion; Speizer, Ilene S.
December 2005
International Family Planning Perspectives;Dec2005, Vol. 31 Issue 4, p179
Academic Journal
CONTEXT: In El Salvador, fathers less commonly say that pregnancies are unintended than mothers do. However, men's pregnancy intentions are not understood as well as women's. METHODS:Data from 425 fathers participating in the 2003 National Male Reproductive Health Survey of El Salvador were analyzed to examine their intentions in regard to partners' pregnancies that had ended in a live birth in the last five years. They were asked whether they had been trying to avoid pregnancy at the time of conception, whether they had been trying to get their partner pregnant, how they had felt about the pregnancy and what they thought their partner's pregnancy intentions had been. Descriptive analyses were based on the most recent pregnancy reported by each man. RESULTS: A quarter of the pregnancies had been unintended from the men's perspective—13% had been mistimed and 11% had been unwanted. Almost half (46%) of unintended pregnancies had been conceived when the father was trying to avoid pregnancy. However, 36% of men reporting an unintended pregnancy said they had been happy when they found out about it. For 20% of all pregnancies, men perceived that their partner's pregnancy intentions differed from their own. CONCLUSIONS: Family planning services in El Salvador need improvement, and services and outreach should target men. Men's experiences with unintended pregnancies—in particular, contraceptive failure and discordance within couples about pregnancy intention—are complex and merit further investigation.


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